Aegon I Targaryen

Aegon 1 Targaryen

Aegon I Targaryen, also known as Aegon the Conqueror, Aegon the Dragon, or Aegon the Dragonlord, was the son of Aerion, Lord of Dragonstone, and Lady Valaena Velaryon.

With his sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys, he conquered six of the seven kingdoms of Westeros and became the first King of the Seven Crowns of the Targaryen dynasty at the age of twenty-seven. He had a son with each of his sister-wives: Aenys, son of Rhaenys, in the year 7 and Maegor, son of Visenya, in the year 12.

He carried the Valyrian steel sword Feunoyr and rode the dragon Balerion, nicknamed the Black Terror.

Aegon I Targaryen Personality

Aegon's personality is enigmatic. He is a loner, his only true friend being his bastard half-brother Orys Baratheon, whom he calls his shield, his loyal follower, and his right hand.

Although a formidable warrior, he never rides in tournaments. He is also educated, and has a serious, even studious character. Unlike his sister-wives, he only rides his dragon Balerion in battle or on journeys. During the Conquest, he is harsh, even cruel, to those who resist him, but merciful to those who submit.

After the Conquest, he leaves his sister-wives to rule with Orys, preferring to travel around his new kingdom with his dragon to make himself known to his people.

Aegon I Targaryen Physical Appearance

Aegon is said to be tall, charismatic and powerfully built. His hair is short. He wears the Valyrian steel sword Feunoyr and a crown of the same metal, set with rubies, attributes that will be taken up by several Targaryen kings in the centuries that follow.

Aegon I Targaryen History

Before the Conquest

Aegon was born around 27 BC. He is the son of Aerion and Lady Valaena Velaryon. Aegon married his two sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. Rumor has it that he married the former out of duty and the latter out of desire. He has always remained faithful to them, spending ten nights with Rhaenys for one with Visenya.

It seems that unlike his ancestors, Aegon has always had his sights set on Westeros. Although there is a widespread legend that he never visited Westeros before the Conquest, there are more reliable accounts that he and his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys stayed with the Redwyne. With Visenya, he also visited Port-Lannis and the Citadel of Oldtown.

In his youth, Aegon was approached by several of the free cities, including Volantis (then at war with the other free cities), which would have wished to reclaim the ruins of Valyria and reunite the former empire of the Possessions. Aegon offers his support to Myr and Pentos against Volantis for a while.

Thanks to Balerion, he burns the Volantis fleet that invaded Lys. At the end of this war, the proposals to conquer Essos are forgotten and it is towards Westeros that he turns his ambitions.

Before undertaking the conquest of the Seven Crowns, Aegon would have had a large wooden table representing the continent carved and painted in order to prepare the invasion.

The Conquest

In the year 2, Aegon receives a marriage proposal from Argilac Durrandon, who wants to give him his daughter, in exchange for lands located in the north of his kingdom, which do not belong to him. By this maneuver, Argilac hopes to place the lord of Dragonstone on the path of his enemy, Harren the Black.

Aegon refuses the marriage, but proposes his bastard half-brother, Orys, instead. Faced with this infamous proposal, the King of the Storm rebels and sends back to Aegon the severed hands of his emissaries.

Aegon gathers his vassals to prepare his Conquest. According to legend, he prayed in the septuary of Dragonstone the night before he was to set sail for the continent.

With his two sisters, Aegon landed on the eastern shores of Westeros, near the mouth of the Blackwater. There, he built a modest wooden fort, Fort Aegon. With a meager army of bay vassals and mercenaries, he quickly gained suzerainty over the surrounding lords, despite some isolated resistance. Aegon was crowned for the first time by his sister-wives and adopted the red dragon on a black background as his banner.

A few days after his coronation, Aegon and part of his army went up to the Conflans where he managed to raise the vassals of Harren the Black before burning the latter and his heirs in Harrenhal. Visenya tries to seize the Val d'Arryn, while Orys Baratheon and Rhaenys subdue the Stormlands.

Aegon and his two sisters must then join forces with their three dragons to crush the alliance of the West and the Reach at the Field of Fire. After securing the submission of the Lannisters of Casterly Rock and installing the Tyrells as the new overlords of the Bief, Aegon is threatened by King Torrhen Stark, who marches to the Trident at the head of a powerful army. However, at the sight of the dragons, Torrhen prefers to submit and recognize the suzerainty of Aegon.

Aegon then descends to Oldtown, which submits without the slightest resistance: the Great Septon has managed to convince Lord Manfred Hightower, invoking a vision he would have had.

Meanwhile, Visenya completes the conquest of the Vale of Arryn, but Rhaenys fails to integrate Dorne into the newly formed Targaryen kingdom. Although Dorne is still beyond his power, Aegon is nevertheless crowned for the second time in Oldtown by the High Septon as King of the Andals, Rhoynar and the First Men, Sire of the Seven Crowns and protector of the realm.

The Reign

After having subdued six of the seven kingdoms, Aegon installs his capital at the same place where he had landed from Dragonstone. There, he had a huge Iron Throne forged from the swords of his defeated enemies.

After the Conquest, Aegon reorganized the conquered regions. Probably inspired by the feudal system of these ancient kingdoms, he appoints six lords to exercise suzerainty over the conquered kingdoms.

The Stark, Lannister and Arryn are confirmed in possession of their lands. The unification of the kingdom is thus achieved with the maintenance of the old local institutions and only the lines of the Gardener, the Chenu and the Durrandon, now extinct after having opposed the Conqueror, are replaced in their offices by the Tyrells, the Tullys and the Baratheons respectively.

Aegon also honors some of these families with the title of military governor to reward those who have submitted. Local powers are maintained and Aegon allows each region to keep its laws. The central power of the new crown is expressed in the foundation of a new capital.

Aegon delegates the government of the country to his advisors and his sisters. His kingdom being vast and new, the dragon-king travels around to consolidate its unity by subjugating or frightening his subjects.

The king does not hesitate to dispense justice himself, assisted by masters who are specialists in the laws and customs of the ancient kingdoms. Half of the year is devoted to these journeys, while the other half is spent in King's Landing and Dragonstone, where he prefers the familiar climate.

By not questioning their traditional privileges, Aegon managed to maintain good relations with the seven Great Septons who succeeded each other during his reign. However, none of them recognizes as legal the king's polygamy, nor his incest. If the Faith tolerated the king's morals during his reign, it would cause a stir during the reigns of his descendants.

The late wars

In the year 2, Aegon went to the Iron Islands, mounted on Balerion and accompanied by a powerful war fleet. He defeats the pretender Qhorin Volmark and puts an end to the civil war that has ravaged the archipelago since the death of Harren the Black. Rather than impose a suzerain on the Ironborn, Aegon gathered the lords of the islands to let them choose. They choose Lord Vickon Greyjoy of Pyk to lead them.

The conflict with Dorne is rekindled in year 4 by Aegon. The Dornians adopt a strategy of avoidance, which allows them to resist without directly fighting the dragons. On his way, Aegon only meets empty castles. When he reaches Lancehélion, he proclaims himself victorious. Lord Harlan Tyrell and Lord Jon Rosby are left in Dorne with occupying troops. But less than a year later, the Dornians revolt and overthrow the existing power.

Aegon does not resume hostilities immediately: his friend Orys Baratheon has been taken prisoner at the Bone, and the Wyl of Wyl holds him hostage. He is finally freed in the year 7, after having to pay a high ransom. Orys resigned as Hand of the King, which Aegon entrusted to Lord Edmyn Tully. That same year, his sister-wife Rhaenys gave birth to Aegon's first son: Aenys Targaryen.

The following year, the conflict with Dorne resumed. This time, the Targaryens did not attack the Dornians with an army, but by burning their castles by surprise with their dragons. In response, the Dornians sacked the Stormlands and the Reach. In the year 9, Edmyn Tully resigned her position as Hand of the King to return to her family.

In the year 10, Aegon founded the Kingsguard on Visenya's advice, but in the same year, Queen Rhaenys died with her dragon Meraxes before Denfert. The pain and fury of Aegon and his surviving sister-wife Visenya lead the conflict with Dorne to the worst atrocities. Assassinations multiply.

At this time, some courtiers talk about the possibility of remarrying the king, since Rhaenys is dead and Visenya is still childless. But in the year 12, Visenya gave birth to Aegon's second son, Maegor Targaryen, and thus silenced the bad tongues.

The peace with Dorne is only concluded in the year 13, after an embassy led by Princess Deria Martell on the order of her father the prince of Dorne Nymor Martell and after the reading of a mysterious letter from Nymor to Aegon. This letter causes great confusion to Aegon, who burns it and flies on his dragon Balerion to Dragonstone. On his return, the next day, he signs the peace under the conditions proposed by Dorne.

The years of peace

The years that followed were quite peaceful, so much so that they were nicknamed the Peace of the Dragon. Aegon spends a lot of time on royal wanderings or at Fort Aegon, taking his heir Aenys everywhere with him. He has little contact with his sister-wife Visenya, who lives in Dragonstone with their son, Maegor.

In the year 22, Aegon married his heir to Alyssa Velaryon, the daughter of his master of ships and lord admiral, Aethan Velaryon. The following year, Aegon and Aenys travel to Dorne on their dragons to attend a "feast of friendship", celebrating ten years of peace between Dorne and the Seven Crowns.

That same year, Alyssa gives birth to a daughter, Rhaena. Visenya proposed to marry Maegor to Rhaena, but the High Septon denounced the incestuous nature of this marriage between an uncle and his niece. He proposes that Maegor should marry his niece, Ceryse Hightower, instead. Aegon, aware of the interest of an alliance with the powerful and rich house Hightower, accepts this proposal.

In the year 28, Aegon attends a great royal tournament organized in Vivesaigues. Prince Maegor defeated three knights of the Royal Guard, before falling before the future champion. It seems that he also won the melee. His father knighted him with Feunoyr, making Maegor, then sixteen years old, the youngest knight in the Seven Kingdoms.

From the year 33, Aegon ceased his royal wanderings, which his heir, Aenys, took up in his place. The king divides his days between Dragonstone and King's Landing. The following year, his Hand, Osmund Fort, dies. Aegon appoints Lord Alyn Castelfoyer to replace him.

In the year 35, Aegon had Fort Aegon demolished and ordered that a new stone building be built in its place, entrusting the construction to Alyn Castelfoyer and Visenya. He himself retreats to Dragonstone.

Aegon died in the year 37, at the age of sixty-four, after just under thirty-seven years of reign. He was in Dragonstone, in the hall of the painted table, telling the details of his Conquest to his two eldest grandsons, Aegon and Viserys, when he collapsed from a stroke.

His funeral is held according to a rite inherited from the Valyrians: his son Maegor delivers his eulogy before his body is cremated, dressed in his armor, his Valyrian steel sword Feunoyr in his hands.

It is his sister's dragon, Vhagar, who sets fire to his pyre. His sword is found unchanged among the ashes. These are buried in Dragonstone, next to the supposed ashes of his sister-wife Rhaenys.

Aegon I Targaryen Legacy

Aegon comes from one of the few Valyrian bloodlines to have escaped the Scourge of Valyria, and has been living in Dragonstone for about two centuries. Accompanied by his two sisters Visenya and Rhaenys, he annexed six of the seven kingdoms of Westeros during the Conquest.

His coronation at Oldtown by the High Septon, who still had great influence on the realm at the time, marked the beginning of the current Seven Kingdoms calendar. However, his reign begins with his landing in Blackwater Bay almost two years earlier.

As the founder of the Seven Crowns kingdom, he is remembered in history as "the Conqueror". His prestige is associated with several objects, which become symbolic attributes of royalty: his crown, his sword, his dragon and the Iron Throne. His name will be given to many of his descendants.